Scandinavian round trip

Source: Visit Estonia

Scandinavian round trip

Sweden, Norway and Denmark make up Scandinavia, an ancient region on the North Sea of Europe. Travellers seeking the pristine coastlines, modern design and colourful cultural heritage of Scandinavia will be delighted to find all these things and more in Estonia - an surprising stop on a Northern European round trip. Estonian culture draws influences from centuries of interaction with neighbours, yet remains a distinct destination worth a visit. 

Historical ties

Lasting impressions

Medieval Tallinners carried out trade with merchants from across Europe. Get a taste of the life at Olde Hansa restaurant.

Photo by: Mats Õun

Estonia has been connected with the rest of Northern Europe for centuries; vikings visited the shores of Estonia's islands, Danish kings ruled Tallinn and German aristocrats erected manors across the countryside. Tallinn and Tartu were cities of the Hanseatic League of the middle ages, connecting them to places like Hamburg, Stockholm and Bergen. This trade relationship exchanged culture and people along the way. Much of the wealth that built the marvelous Tallinn Old Town is thanks to this era. Estonian history is intertwined with that of the North, and visitors will be able to see the full reach of the age-old kingdoms of Scandinavia.   

Scandinavian Estonia 

Striking handmade quality

One of a kind Estonian pieces make for perfect souvenirs. Leather bags by local designer Kristiina Nurk. 

Photo by: Magnus Heinmets

What does Estonia have to do with Scandinavia today? While maintaining a unique style, Estonian design, architecture, cuisine, and fashion have influences from northerly neighbours. While strolling the streets of Tallinn, one will notice high end fashions and small designer shops featuring knitwear, leather goods and colourful woven fabrics. Estonian design often mixes traditional patterns or materials like sheep's wool or oak wood into cutting edge compositions. Estonian cuisine is hearty and wholesome, much like Scandinavian food, but incorporates ingredients from the nearby forests and Baltic sea in unique ways: think sprat sandwiches, rich, black bread and wild game. 

Round trip destinations 

When exploring Northern Europe, do as the vikings did: sail! The capitals of Scandinavia are situated on the sea, making for easy access via ship. Multiple cruise companies offer daily departures between Tallinn and Stockholm, Helsinki and St.Petersburg. When disembarking your vessel in Tallinn's harbour, the city centre is a mere 10 minutes walking distance away. Because of its compact and convenient layout, visitors stopping briefly in Tallinn will be able to see the highlights of the city like the medieval Old Town. Those with more time to spare, however, will be rewarded for venturing outside the capital. Tartu lies only three hours Southeast and is home to one of Northern Europe's oldest universities. Pärnu, called the summer capital for its beaches, is only two hours to the South. In fact, Estonia's quaint towns, national parks and numerous islands are all accessible within a day or two of Tallinn. The only hard part will be choosing from all Estonia's offerings. 

Tallinn's convenient harbour

St. Olav's church spire greets you from the Old Town upon arrival.

Photo by: Visit Estonia

Last updated : 07.03.2018